Noosa News | 24th July 2015

ONLY a ban on developers making financial donations to political parties will ever ease the threat of Noosa having to battle inappropriate development.

That is according to Noosa Mayor Noel Playford, who said his council was considering whether it should pursue the Northbrook Corporation over court costs, if it withdraws its Noosa on Weyba development appeal.

“As everybody should know it (the development application) was completely contrary to both the planning schemes and it’s all about our future and I believe the community has the right to determine what its future is,” Cr Playford said.

“In my many years in local government, I have seen many occasions where governments of different political persuasions have done things to advantage big development and I don’t really see that changing in the future unless contributions from development to political parties are outlawed.”

He said the previous efforts by former Labor premier Anna Bligh to rein in development contributions were “pulled in line by the real movers and shakers”.

The Noosa on Weyba development application was only able to proceed after the Bligh government allowed for Biodiversity Development Offset Area that would have seen an area of the development site made part of Noosa National Park if the application proceeded.

Both the Sunshine Coast Council and the newly reformed Noosa Council rejected the application.

“That appears to be over,” the Mayor said in reference to Northbrook’s offer to end the appeal provided that all parties pay for their own legal costs. The SCC told Noosa News this week it would not pursue legal costs from Northbrook.

Cr Playford said the costs in defending the appeal to date were “not an insignificant amount”.

“We will reserve our position in terms of an application for costs,” he said.

“I think most rational people would be happy that the end is in sight.”